I’ll start off saying that I don’t know the answer to the question asked in the subject: I don’t know the many and most likely complex reasons that Christian girls end up pregnant. I do know that I was a Christian girl, raised in a Christian home. At age twenty-one, I found myself not only at odds with the parents from that Christian home but pregnant to boot. Again, I don’t necessarily have the specific answers for how that pregnancy relates to my faith but I have some ideas. Maybe they fit others’ experiences. Maybe not.
I had a lot of anger at my parents. I found out at thirteen, after I had been told that abstinence until marriage was the only way to be a “good Christian,” that my Mom was pregnant with me when she married my Dad. I felt lied to and deceived. I then felt that they were just lying to me to get me to do what they wanted. I knew what the Bible said about pre-marital sex but it didn’t change the fact that I felt that my parents were lying.
Furthermore, growing up going to youth group, I was surrounded by other teens. The thing about teens is that they have sex. They do. Even kids who go to youth group have sex. As I struggled to make sense of why my parents had, in essence, lied to me by not being honest, my Christian friends were experimenting with sex. I felt alone. I refused to talk to my parents about anything related to sex; I didn’t ask questions about birth control, I didn’t ask questions about my bodily functions. And I didn’t have friends to ask about my blossoming sexuality because, even though I didn’t understand reasons why, I was still quite a prude. They thought I was inexperienced and made fun of me when I attempted to ask a question.
Come college, I was still questioning all of those topics. As I said before, September 11th also caused me to question my entire faith, not just in relation to sexuality. Of course, as I had refused to ask my parents any question about my bodily functions in relation to reproductive organs, when I became sexually active, I had no idea what my fertile signs were or how to tell such things. I didn’t know that cervical mucous follows, on a healthy cycle, the same kind of pattern every month. As I continued to question my faith, I found myself pregnant.
No one is to blame other than myself and the Munchkin’s biological father. We made the choice to have sex, obviously. But these mentioned things, in relation to my faith, are why I found myself lacking the knowledge and understanding of certain things. Talks with other birth mothers have yielded similar findings (and different ones). Some completely turned from the faith that was forced down their throat as a small child and teenager. Some weren’t taught anything about sexuality as well.
How do I plan on raising Nicholas differently in relation to sex and faith? (And any other kids?) Even though we will be telling Nicholas that waiting until marriage would not only be great for his relationship with God but admirable for the woman he eventually takes as his wife. As Josh and I both were sexually active before marriage, both raised in Christian homes with strong faith, we know that’s not enough. Our children will also be raised in a supportive and open home. Sexual education will be discussed. Fertility will be discussed, both for women and men, in relation to pregnancy. I can pray that my children won’t make my same mistakes but I can also equip them with the proper information.
That said, Christians, even not in the midst of a questioning phase like I was, can make choices that aren’t in line with God’s will for our lives. My Mother, when she became pregnant with me, was a strong Christian who was also head over heels in love with my Dad. It’s important to remember, when dealing with unwed mothers, that their sins are no different than your own and that God’s forgiveness covers them all. Some Christians refuse to accept that sexual sin is not worse (or better) than other sins, such as coveting their neighbor’s brand new car. I know a lot of Christian birth mothers who felt pressured to place simply because they were told, in relation to their faith, that placement was a way to atone for their sin. That’s a lie that too many birth mothers have fallen for in the past. Simply asking for forgiveness covers the sin.
That said, sometimes I’m still embarassed that as a Christian woman, I found myself pregnant out of wedlock. I sometimes feel that had my faith been stronger at the time or had I not been questioning everything in general that I would not have ended up pregnant.
But then the Munchkin wouldn’t be here. So, it’s a double edged sword.
Read more in the series of Faith and Adoption:
11. Remembering God in the Good. 3.25.07
10. Can Christian Birth Parents Be Angry?. 3.18.07
9. Forget? 03.11.07
8. Grief, Hope and Faith? 03/04/07
7. I’m Praying for You. 2.18.07
6. A Psalm for Darker Days. 2.11.07
5. Talking to My Pastor. 02.04.07
4. Praying for Your Placed Child. 01.28.07
3. Where is God in Placement? 01.21.07
2. Unwed Pregnancy Woes. 01.14.07
1. A New Series. 01.07.07